Sual, Pangasinan – “The quickest way to disseminate and transfer technology to farmers is through conduct of techno-demo with field day considering that most farmers do still have “to see is to believe mentality.”

This, according to Dir. Valentino C. Perdido, Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office I OIC – Regional Executive Director, is the essence of the conduct of the Field Day on Intensive Organic Farming, a project of DA through the Pangasinan Research & Experiment Center (PREC) in Sual, Pangasinan held on March 25, 2014.

Hence, satisfying the farmers’ need to witness first-hand the effectiveness of new technologies particularly in organic farming featuring result of researches being conducted by DA, the field day showcased organic agriculture production systems to the participants and demonstrated the different organic farming projects in the station.

Focusing on the theme “Organikong pamamaraan ng pagsasaka kaakibat ng pamilyang Pilipino tungo sa tuloy-tuloy na pag-unlad ng masagana at magandang produkto ng Agrikultura (Sustainable Agriculture)’’, the techno-demo area was divided into different sections, each section featuring a particular organic farming technology/ practice such as the Techno-demo on Intensive Organic Microbial Farming which include the fermentation area, the vermin-composting area (tea/extract); the natural poultry & piggery area; the herbs & medicinal plants area; and intensive gardening and edible landscaping showcase area.

Also featuring other projects imploring natural farming/production systems are the Pekin, Muscovy & Mallard Ducks Project; the Sunflower Plantation for Honeybee production; the Technology Demonstration of High Value Crops imploring Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), the Open Pollinated Variety (OPV) Seed Production Project, Urban Gardening and the Greenhouses.

According to Dr. Ma. Remedios H. Pajatin, OIC Chief of the satellite station, part of the concept of the project is to showcase the importance of integration to sustain the organic farming production system where raw materials used to feed the organic animals being raised are sourced out from the organically grown crops in the area while compost from earthworms, grass and vegetables with animal dung are used as organic fertilizer.

On crop production, the station practices crop rotation between legumes and non-legumes to preserve and cultivate the soil and help regain its lost nutrients. Companion planting is also practiced with a combination of culinary herbs to that of medicinal herbs like basil, sage, rosemary, parsley, lemon grass, lemon balm, among others, which serve as insect repellants to vegetable crops. Ornamental plants are also planted such as marigold, chichirica, kamantigue, bitter daisy and cosmos which serve as insect attractants to drive away harmful insects from the crops.

The field day participants were also awed by the edible landscaping part of the showcase area where edible crops such as roses, gumamela, cosmos, marigold and other vegetables are artistically planted and arranged into a garden-like manner to serve as “beautification” for the farm.

As an output of the project, most of the crops planted are for seed production purposes of the station which are then distributed to farmers as part of DA’s assistance to organic farming enthusiasts while the livestock raised serve as breeder stocks which can be the source of stocks for organic livestock raisers in the region.

DA-RFO I is currently promoting the station as the only Organic Agriculture Station of DA in the region. This is in support to the campaign of the Department for the promotion of healthy living through natural and organic farming. RED Valentino assured the participants that all the showcased crops are organically grown and no synthetic or chemical inputs were used in the production of said crops and livestock.

Further, he encouraged the participants especially those who are not yet into organic farming to take the opportunity to scout technologies that are easy to adopt as there are still very few who are able to satisfy the production of organic foods while demands for these are increasing.

Participants to the Field Day were Farmer Associations mostly organic farming practitioners, Lakbay Aral Participants from the Pangasinan State University, Local Farmer Technicians (LFTs), representatives from the private sector, representatives from Allied Botanicals, staff from the Provincial Agriculture Office and the DA Regional Office, among others.